I. AM. APPRECIATED. AND. LOVED!!
I want to explain that, but need to put a caveat on what I am going to say lest it be misunderstood. Caveat: I have felt God’s “call” on my life for well…about all my life. Other than the dreams of being a professional baseball player or a professional basketball player (do you know any 6’5″ white guys who can jump?), my mother always told me I talked about being a preacher. I can equally remember her pulling me aside and asking me to make sure my motives were right. “Pastors are given special privileges and are looked up to by many people. Make sure you are doing this because you feel God has led you to it.” Being a pastor is a privilege in my book. Not better than anyone else, but one that I do not take lightly. What I did not know-and my mom did not tell me- is that sometimes being a pastor is also a lonely job. It can be thankless. It can be tiring. It can be stressful. It can also be filled with beauty. Love. Excitement. And a thousand other words that move along that line. I have had my share of highs and lows; goods and bads; victories and defeats. The same as any other job. That is one reason I do not want to be put on a pedestal and don’t seek special privileges. There is danger in becoming isolated. Arrogant. Opinionated. Martyr. Lonely. Did I also say under-appreciated?
DONE BEEN ALL OF THOSE.
I have served churches that barely recognize the pastor has needs (of any kind). I have served churches where any compliment was like pulling teeth. I have also served where it was a natural “flow” from the people. To set the record straight: I no longer go looking for pats-on-the-back.
I say all that because I came to the office Wednesday morning to a desk covered in cards. I didn’t even know this church knew about Pastor Appreciation Month, and yet, my desk was covered with cards. Holy Hallmark Batman! Some were funny. Some downright hilarious. Some serious. Some containing notes that had me a blubbering idiot (not meant to be negative name call ). I was totally blown away by their thoughts. Some even gave a small gift. (My secretary gave me a York Peppermint Patty).
What they will never know is how much this meant to me. It was the pick-me-up I so badly needed. Sure I cried. Who wouldn’t? But they were good tears. To know one is loved is the greatest gift (and tears) of all.
Your turn. Has someone shown you appreciation lately? How so? Have you shown someone you appreciate them?